Summer's just around the corner here, but in the lands of Westoros, winter is far nearer!
What's this week's episode, "The Climb" going to have in store for us?
i uhh, i know sometimes we put in song references having to do with the episode titles, etcetera...
But as far as i can make out, it's a pretty popular Miley Cyrus song. We're not showing you that.
But hey - it's a book apparently! About climbing Mount Everest, so, uhhh, there's that!
shhh. don't worry about it. just pretend it's the wall or something
Anyway, what's going on this week?
How's are the Lannister siblings (most notably Tyrion and Cersei) going to cope with their new directions and roles in King's Landing?
What will happen with Daenerys and her Unsullied? (Go Team Grey Worm!)
Will any one of Littlefinger, The Hound, Tywin, or Stannis do something creepy and untoward?
Will Jon Snow have his guts pulled out through his nose?
How will Arya cope with the loss of Gendry, and her m'lady-zoning?
Hit the jump, and let's talk about it!
8:00 - so last week we left the King Slayer in some pretty dire circumstances, and it got us thinking - maybe Cersei should make some accommodations throughout the facilities at King's Landing upon her brother's return.
it looks soothing. it looks like it might help.
anyway, thanks for stopping by. grab a seat and say hi, if you'd like!
8:15 - just a reminder - while you in no way have to do so yourself, this here is a drinking blog. we like to imbibe. Today's refreshments? Mill St Tankhouse, Unibroue Maudite and Shock Top Wheat Ale.
ron swanson approves
8:20 - a common topic of discussion with this show:
a lot of people have taken issue with the show's usage of nudity throughout its seasons.
so far this year (at least, compared to the previous two) it's been pretty tasteful, and we're happy to report that.
think it'll continue today?
what do you think shae has to say about that?
8:30 - it's funny. we've read a lot about spoilers running rampant this week, and people complaining about this week's episode or whatever being wrecked for them… they uhm, they know these are books, right?
We have a loose rule about spoilers here, y'know - in that we've read the books, and won't pull punches to referencing them. We just don't do it weeks or months in advance. And we'll try to be respectful of the very major plot points (like Jaime's hand! That was pretty hard to keep under wraps, though we totally recommend Jaime do so. And that he change those wraps regularly, to prevent infection). That are totally coming. Just you wait.
Hell, even out cat reads the books and knows spoilers!
he's a lifelong martin reader.
8:40 - Man, this season sure does look to be headed to some sort of huge battle - we've been a little low on the fighting all season, truthfully, and contrasting that against last season, well, we're certainly down some fistiswords…
heh, get it? fistiswords?
anyway, get with the stabby stabby.
8:45 - 15 minute warning!!
watching Game of Thrones to warm up for Game of Thrones is a little too intense.
9:00 - here we go!!
9:02 - out in the woods, Sam and Gilly debate how much fire is required for wood. Sam is inadequate with this, Gilly is not.
"Well, uh, you know your fires," he tells her.
He, there's a baby there.
Anway, they discuss fire and class privilege. It's boring. (actually, i dig it and think it is interesting!)
Then dragonglass shows up, and it's not boring.
9:04 - There's some good acting in this scene - they're obviously outside, as the actors physically look and sound cold, like in their jaws.
Sam reminisces about the wall, then ends up singing a song about the Seven (mainly the Father and the Mother. Spoiler alert: they love the little children)
Man, everybody on this show sings, eh?
During the singing, we pan out, creepily.
9:05 - we cut in pretty raggedly on Meera skinning a rabbit. Osha tells her she doesn't know how to do it. She then proceeds to do it herself, deftly and...perhaps too viciously for me to say "elegantly."
I umm, I do believe they're actually skinning rabbits on this show.
Like real rabbits. And ripping off their heads. AND I AM BITING MY TONGUE ABOUT POTENTIAL FORESHADOWING. THIS IS THE BEST I CAN DO.
So, the women get a little chirpy, and Bran tells them "you're both very good at skinning rabbits."
Despite this attempt at placation, Osha tells Meera she has a "big mouth and too many teeth."
Things get heated and Bran tells them to stop.
Osha: First time I met her, she held a knife to my throat!
Bran: First time I met you, you put a knife to my throat!
They go back to skinning rabbits and trying to interact respectfully. I dig it. I can imagine a pretty sweet buddy comedy from Osha and Meera's perspectives as they lead Bran and Jojen through the woods! Oh, and also, Hodor is there.
9:07 - Oh hey! Over there, Jojen has a seizure. It is a dark and foreboding moment. Many sternful glances are exchanged.
But hey, Jojen saw Jon Snow, and he notes he was on "the wrong side of the Wall, and surrounded by enemies."
9:08 - speaking of Jon, he's now discussing trees with some Wildlings. Exciting.
Anyway, Ygritte offers Jon some climbing boots.
Seems like she maaay have gotten them by banging some other dude, and then being betrayed by him, and thusly stomping his balls and taking his shit. You know, as you do.
They discuss banging some more though, and how Jon's good with his mouth. She does a hilarious impression of him that is easily one of my favourite things to come out of this show. "Oh! I'm Jon Snow! [list of kills] and I'm afraid of naked girls!"
She then tells him that since they've boned, he's not a crow, she belongs to him.
"its you and me that matters to me."
"don't ever betray me," she finishes.
y'know, or she'll cut his pretty cock off and wear it around her neck.
well, this is the woman i've chosen to love.
Jon's approached by Tormund. He gives Jon some climbing tips, and tells him "if you fall, don't scream. you don't want that to be the last thing she remembers of you."
9:13 - Arya's doing some archery practice with one of the brotherhood? Maybe Beric? Nah, somebody else (tom sevenstrings? or...something? probably not lem).
She wants to kill a bunch of people, right, and that's discussed during her practice.
While lining up another shot she sees someone in the distance.
"There's someone out there."
Oh, hey! It's Melisandre.
"We come as friends," she says.
"We'll be the judge of that," Thoros tells her.
So they have a funny subtitled conversation about worship, and failure and whatnot.
Thoros eventually asks she speaks the common tongue. "My friends here don't speak High Valyrian."
9:15 - Inside a cave we find the real Beric. He's greeted by Thoros and Melisandre some fire.
She learns about their powers of bringing men back, and is somewhat displeased.
Thoros says it's not his power, the lord just bestows it upon him.
9:17 - There's a bunch more rambling about Thoros' history, and drinking, and whoring around, then starting to bring dudes back to life (or possibly just Beric, a whole bunch of times). He's decided R'Hllor is the one true god and everything.
"You've been on the other side," Melisandre says.
"There is no other side," Beric pipes up.
9:19 - back with Arya, she and Gendry and Tom discuss arrows and stuff.
She notes she doesn't like Melisandre.
Tom tells her "that's because she's a girl."
So, in the end it turns out that they want Gendry.
Gee, I wonder why.
Arya chews them out for doing it for the gold, and she gets some sob story about how they need the gold for the weapons, blah blah.
Melisandre tells Gendry these men are mere footsoldiers, and he will "make kings rise and fall." This raises a lot of philosophical and metaphysical questions for us - in that, if Gendry's blood (acquired by ritualistic murder!) is used in a ritual that creates a shadow-monster that kills yet another king-to-be, does Gendry himself actually have any role in or claim to this?
Spoiler alert: yeah, no.
Arya starts chirping her, and Melisandre tells her that she sees darkness in her. Darkness and a bunch of eyes.
"Brown eyes, and blue eyes, and green eyes. Eyes you'll shut forever. We'll meet again some day."
They never even meet in the books!
9:22 - so the wildlings are climbing the wall now, one of the many complained about spoilers.
So they like, climb the wall, and it's crazy, 'cause Jon looks down, and almost falls, but doesn't, then keeps looking at Ygritte's ass. I feel more empathy with Jon Snow in this moment of ass-staring than I did in five extremely lengthy novels.
Then a horn blows.
9:23 - oh, but that horn was Ramsay...scary, scary, Ramsay.
So he begins his psychological owning of Theon, and the Rabbits were so obviously foreshadowing.
"How about your little finger. That's not very important, is it? Let's start with that."
oh, man, his cutesy voice is so fucking scary. he's been on this show for what, two episodes? already in the top tier of impressive and terrifying characters!
"You've been wondering why you're here, who I am, why I'm doing this to you. So guess."
Ramsay suggests they play a game. Theon wins if he guesses the above correctly. Ramsay wins if Theon begs him to cut the finger off.
"If I win you'll let me go?"
"If you think this will have a happy ending, well, you haven't been paying attention."
Oy, so Ramsay makes him guess where they are, who he (ramsay) is, and why he's being tortured.
Theon's not good at it. We watch him slowly flay Theon's finger a bit, but then Theon guesses their location "correctly."
They're at the Karhold.
Theon guesses this guy is Rickard Karstark's child, and this is apparently right?
Wait - so this isn't Ramsay?
"But you forgot to ask one question. You forgot to ask if I'm a liar!"
Okay, it is. He gets back up and begins flaying it again. Stabbing into the exposed meat and yanking/dragging the finger down to split the ball of Theon's palm.
Ramsay goes on about how he enjoys this, Theon begs him to cut it off, and Ramsay gleefully proclaims "I win!"
That was rough.
9:28 - Oh, good. Slow diplomacy.
Robb and the Freys are having some issues, it seems.
So they set up a wedding for Lord Edmure to try to make amends.
It has to happen in the next fortnight.
The Freys are a little iffy on long engagements now. Robb acknowledges that this makes sense.
9:30 - Edmure is unhappy about this, and wants a prettier woman than the...one he's never seen.
Robb and Catelyn note that they can't lose these allies and hope to fare well in the war.
9:31 - HA! More like Lord Burn-den Blackfish, amirite?
9:32 - Roose Bolton is eating dinner with Brienne and Jaime. He's forced Brienne into a pink, fur-lined dress, but it actually looks pretty dope. Joke's on you, fucker!
These two are pretty much the greatest OTP ever, between Jaime's snark, Brienne's secretive knife grasps, Jaime's difficulty at dinner, etc. And then when she helps him! I can't!
Jaime offers a drink.
"I don't drink," Roose responds.
"You do understand how suspicious that is to ordinary people."
9:34 - So Roose pulls a card from his sleeve and says that Brienne is staying with him. That does't seem appreciable to Jaime. Unfortunately, they don't seem to have much choice about this.
9:34 - So Tywin and Olenna are having one of these diplomatic drink and talks.
She tells him that Cersei is old, and her 'change' will be upon her soon.
They then discuss Loras rather grossly (and my, but doesn't Tywin sound so contemporary!), but then in a hilarious turn, Olenna (who has a fairly accepting attitude toward homosexuality, despite seeming to view it as something of a phase) questions whether Tywin had any exposure to boys at his own time.
He tells her that they don't do stuff like that in King's Landing.
She tells him that they don't do brother and sister stuff in Highgarden.
Tywin gets huffy.
9:36 - "I don't care what people believe, and neither do you."
"As an authority on myself, I must disagree."
WHY IS SHE SO PERFECT? How I wish we could have had POV chapters for Lady Olenna in the books!
She shoots down him offering more wine.
They strategize some more, noting that each side has particular uncertainties with the upcoming marriages.
Tywin threatens that if Loras is to not marry Cersei, he will appoint him to the Kingsguard, ending their lineage and giving ownership of Highgarden to Joffrey.
Tywin asks if she accepts
"It's a rare enough thing, a man that lives up to his reputation."
She gets up and takes the quill from Tywin, with which he was to sign the order, and snaps it in two.
9:38 - So they're climbing the wall, and it's disgustingly cold, and high and scary. eff that.
We're with Ygritte, and she's climbing the wall when we hear a crack.
This leads to an epic CG scene of the face of the wall breaking off in a small spot, and Ygritte being in terrible danger. Through some wacky physics and swinging on ropes and stuff, just as she's about to fall, she's saved by Jon Snow - after being cut loose by Wargy McDouchebag.
9:40 - Loras and Sansa are awkwardly discussing pins/brooches in super cute and stupid way.
The setting in this one is quite beautiful.
They're discussing current engagements and fantasies and stupid homophobic jokes.
They discuss how terrible things are, and how much she wants to leave.
It turns out Cersei and Tyrion were watching the whole time.
Tyrion then wonders aloud "it's hard to say which of us four is getting the worst of this." he posits that it's sansa, which...yeah, tyrion does pretty much hate himself
Cersei whines about how hard she's worked, and Tyrion complains further, noting how much he's owed by the family. She credits him for saving the city during the seige - possibly the first time anyone has done so to his face.
"Trying to have me killed is a strange way to give thanks."
Then he asks her point blank if that was her, noting there are only two people that are capable of commanding the Kingsguard.
Cersei remains silent, and Tyrion realizes Joffrey was responsible.
So are we.
This writing is damn good.
Just as these siblings were starting to get closer.
They note the entire realm fears their father.
9:44 - "You might escape, at least" Tyrion tells Cersei. "When Jaime comes back, it's possible Ser Loras may come down with a fatal case of sword through bowel." Um.
Then he notes that without Jaime, he's "truly fucked."
9:45 - Sansa and Shae are trying on some robes, and Tyrion is here.
Exciting, interacting between these two.
"I need to speak to you, Sansa."
Then they argue until Shae doesn't leave...But not before Tyrion talks to her in complete bullshit.
This scene is the worst. The wooooorst.
He closes the door.
"This is... This is awkward."
and then they cop out and cut to a different scene.
9:47 - Varys and Littlefinger discuss how many swords are in this damn throne.
Littlefinger thinks he has a good feel on it, as he's been sitting and staring at it for some inordinate amount of time.
So, obviously it's time for the requisite verbal and mental sparring that occurs once per episode between these two. Littlefinger lost this round with Sansa, and overplayed his hand with Ros (whom he multiply insults) is the basic gist of things... But he's got a friend or something? Someone who will help?
They talk about constructs, and agreed upon histories, and chaos.
We see a little montage of that monster Joffrey, getting dressed and walking around with his crossbow after killing some woman. Maybe Ros? Fuck. Probably Ros. But either way, it's absolutely horrible. She's fully clothed, though, which is...I don't know. Something.
This is contrasted with Sansa bawling her eyes out as Loras is sent off on a boat.
9:50 - so there are some wildlings on top of a wall now.
the warg is eyeballing Jon and Ygritte, and his eagle flies about overhead.
Upon reaching the top they look out over the land below. It's beautiful and green and white and purple.
The contrast between the two sides is pretty overwhelming.
Jon and Ygritte stare at each other briefly, then the lands below, then each other, then they kiss again, and we fade out.
Umm, okay. Not the best ending this week, but whatever. Things are getting tense. Things are getting very fucking tense.